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A peek inside Mitt Romney's $42.5 million tax filings

Mitt Romney reported owing $6.2 million in taxes on $42.5 million in income over the last two years, according to documents released by the Republican presidential contender's campaign Tuesday.

The former Massachusetts governor made an estimated $20.9 million in 2011 and expects to pay $3.2 million in taxes, a 15.4 percent rate.

In 2010, he earned $21.65 million, and paid $3 million in taxes, a 13.9 percent rate.

Romney has been under pressure from rivals to release his returns. There were no major surprises in more than 500 pages of documents released Tuesday.

They confirm what's long been known—that Romney is far wealthier than most Americans. His net worth is between $190 million and $250 million.

Romney earned almost all his income from dividends and interest on investments. His tax bill was reduced as he took about $7 million in charitable deductions, including $4.1 million to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, or Mormon church.

Virtually all of Romney's income comes from investment income that's taxed at a 15 percent rate. Ordinary income, or income from wages, can be taxed as high as 35 percent.

The Romneys paid a lower rate than their chief political rivals. Newt Gingrich, former Speaker of the House of Representatives, paid at a rate of about 31 percent, and President Barack Obama last year paid at a 26 percent rate.

Gingrich has been pressing Romney hard to release the returns. During the South Carolina primary campaign last week, Gingrich routinely drew cheers from crowds when he wondered what Romney could be hiding.

Romney at first said he would release the returns in April, when they are complete, but relented after being crushed by Gingrich in the South Carolina primary.

At Monday night's Tampa Republican debate, Romney called his tax liability "entirely legal and fair."
And, he added, "I pay all the taxes that are legally required and not a dollar more. I don't think you want someone as the candidate for president who pays more taxes than he owes."

Romney Tuesday released a statement of support from Fred Goldberg, former Internal Revenue Service Commission.

"These returns reflect the complexity of our tax laws and the types of investment activity that I would anticipate for persons in their circumstances," he said. "There is no indication or suggestion of any tax-motivated or aggressive tax planning activities. In my judgment, they have fully satisfied their responsibilities as taxpayers."

More here on the returns for the Romney campaign